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The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has signed an agreement to finance a solar park at Rosh Pinah town in the ||Karas region. With this agreement, the bank’s commitment to financing in the field of clean energy amounts to N$1.038 billion (USD 67.4 million), encompassing 87.9 MW capacity from 13 projects.
Rosh Pinah Solar Park is owned by two Namibian firms, Otesa Energy Projects and Emesco Energy (Namibia). As the majority shareholder for the project, Otesa Energy Projects will construct the plant, whereas Emesco will develop the solar plant.
Once commissioned, the RPSP will generate 5.4 MW for the Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation’s (RPZC) operational energy requirements. The RPZC needs additional electricity supply, in view of expanding its operations. The solar power plant will diversify sources of energy and improve the sustainability of RPZC, as well as reduce the energy costs to run the mining operations.
Elmo Kalyamo, Executive Director of Otesa Energy, said the facility will supply 30% of the power requirements of the zinc mine, under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA). It is expected to reduce 6% of annual greenhouse gas emissions of RPZC, which is equivalent to 14,242 tons of CO2 emissions produced by utility-supplied power in the ||Kharas Region.
Kalyamo also mentioned the majority of Namibian-owned projects supports the nation’s objective of energy independence and he greatly appreciates DBN’s support, thanks to their responsiveness to the specific financing requirements of the project.
The financial support for Rosh Pinah Solar Park is the second renewable energy project financed by DBN, under its Climate Adaptation Facility. DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said the bank is committed to the country’s development in renewable energy and its economic activity, as well as socio-economic well-being.
In Namibia, the pressure on the electricity grid is driven by the growing demand of industries and the grid’s expansion to reach previously unconnected households. Due to this demand outstripping the installed power capacity, the country imports electricity from South Africa and the Southern African Power Pool. Last year, Namibia generated 89 GWh but had to import around 264 GWh.
DBN’s finance on renewable energy development by IPPs aims to increase the amount of locally generated electricity and reduce cash flows out of the country. This will also reduce the future costs on the development of cross-border transmission infrastructure, and enhance the security of electricity supply which may get intricate by the threat of export operation disruptions.